On Saturday, during the pre-match warm-up against Ampthill RUFC, Cornish Pirates took to the pitch in their RNLI rugby shirts to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat Disaster.
SAMURAI are honoured to have designed these shirts in collaboration with Whirlwind Sports for Cornish Pirates. Featuring a black and white dynamic view of a Penlee RNLI lifeboat, with a poignant poem on the back telling the tale of the Soloman Browne lifeboat, these commemorative shirts are available to purchase from the Whirlwind Sports website, with all proceeds of the players' shirts going to the RNLI.
Image © Brian Tempest
Tragically occurring on the 19th December 1981, all 8 crew members of the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne were sadly lost as they bravely came to the aid of a motor vessel in distress during horrendous weather conditions. Hoping to pay tribute to those lost, Whirlwind Sports, SAMURAI and Cornish Pirates came together to create a one-off shirt to remember and raise money for the RNLI.
Scheduled originally for Boxing Day, the match had to be postponed due to COVID-19. A minute’s silence was held before the beginning of the game, giving everyone a chance to remember the crew and their sacrifice. Among the crowd and spectators, relatives of the lost Penlee men were also present.
Speaking to our South West Sales and Business Development Manager Matthew Ball, he said: “As a local in Cornwall when Whirlwind Sports requested SAMURAI for these shirts to be produced in partnership with Cornish Pirates to commemorate the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat disaster in December 1981, we at SAMURAI jumped at the challenge of getting these done.
“My Dad was a member of the RNLI so I know first hand the danger these volunteers go through on a daily basis when called to sea. The shirts look fantastic, and the money made from these goes towards fantastic charities involved with the RNLI. Big thanks must also go to Paul Billings from Whirlwind Sports whose idea it was and to Cornish Pirates for promoting these shirts in recent games”
Image © Brian Tempest
Visit the official RNLI website to find out more and ways in which you can help support the Penlee Lifeboat Station.
The crew of the Solomon Browne will never be forgotten.